The sanctuary of Athena is located on a terrace immediately above the theatre on the acropolis at Pergamon. The temple of Athena, built in Doric order, was placed on the western edge for dramatic affect.
The entrance to the sanctuary was through a two-storeyed propylon, now reconstructed in Berlin. The inscription shows that it was constructed by King Eumenes II to Athena Nikephoros (who had brought victories over the Galatians, among others). Trophies from the victories are shown in relief on the propylon.
The temenos displayed a number of sculptures celebrating these victories. Among them was probably the original of the ‘trumpeter’ (better known as The Dying Gaul) now in Rome.
The full effect of the sanctuary has been lost on site but it can be reconstructed in our imagination through the architectural reconstructions in Berlin as well as the copies of some of victory monuments from the sanctuary itself.
The bronze head of the Emperor Claudius (or perhaps Nero) was found in the spring of 1907 in the River Alde at Rendham, west of Saxmundham, in Suffolk. As Jocelyn Toynbee observed: ‘The lower line of the neck is torn and ragged, and there can be little doubt but that this head was violently hacked from its body and carried off as loot from some important Roman centre’. The suggestion is that it was removed from the Roman colony at Colchester: see Janet Huskinson, CSIR GB I, 8, no. 23.
The head (‘The Saxmundham Claudius’) was purchased by the British Museum after it had been sold at Sotheby’s in 1965 (inv. 1965.12-01.1).
Visitors to the cemetery at Sutton Hoo sometimes find it hard to visualise a ship under the mound. The NLHF supported project has allowed a ship sculpture to be inserted in the courtyard next to the cafe and shop. The central part maps out the finds on the ‘burial chamber’.
This contrasts with the reconstructed display in the original exhibition at the site.
One of the caryatids from the Roman ‘lesser propylaia’ in the sanctuary of Demeter at Eleusis was obtained by E.D. Clarke and now resides in the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge. It is currently part of an art installation by Hugo Dalton.
Another caryatid from the ‘lesser propylaia’ is now displayed in the Eleusis Museum. Both appeared in the documentary, ‘The Sacred Way‘, by Michael Wood (1991).
The lesser Propylaia was a benefaction of Appius Claudius Pulcher.
The fort at High Rochester (Bremenium) in Northumberland was one of the most northerly outposts of the Roman Empire. The inscription, now in the Great North Museum, was discovered near to the east gate of the fort c. 1776 (RIB 1284). It was then displayed in Alnwick Castle.
The Latin text records work by a unit, vexillatio, of the 20th Legion Valeria Victrix. The inscription is flanked by figures of Mars and Hercules. Below appears to be a boar, the emblem of the legion.
A building inscription for a vexillatio of the 6th Legion Pia Fidelis is also known from the site (RIB 1283).
These two units may have been posted here, not necessarily simultaneously, to reinforce the northern frontier.
The temple of Despoina at the site of Lykosoura lies high in the mountains of Arkadia. It appears to have been constructed in the late 3rd century BC. There is a Doric facade at the east end. The base for the cult statues lies at the west end. The sculptor was Damophon of Messenia.
Excavations recovered some of the sculptures that are now in the National Museum in Athens.
A door lies on the south side. This faces a series of steps placed on the steep bank. It is possible that this was an area for those observing the rituals.
A relief found in 1889 in the sanctuary of the Muses at Thespiai in Boeotia represents Mount Helikon as an old bearded man. The sculpture dates to the Hellenistic period. Inscriptions show that it was dedicated by Amphikritos to the Muses.
Athens, National Museum inv. 1455 (Kaltsas cat. no. 640). Jamot Paul. Stèle votive trouvée dans l’hiéron des Muses. Bulletin de correspondance hellénique 14, 1890: 546-551.
Earlier this evening I attended a lecture by Loyd Grossman on Benjamin West’s painting ‘The Death of General Wolfe’ that hangs in Ickworth (see here). One of the points made was West’s knowledge of classical sculpture from his Grand Tour visit to Rome. Wolfe’s body evokes, to my eye, the Dying Gaul displayed in Rome. Note that a musket lies at Wolfe’s feet instead of the sword and trumpet on the base of the Dying Gaul.